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Old 09-06-2010, 01:01 PM   #1
Sylvie Roy
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Post My Fall clothes don't fit - in a bad way

We've been getting a taste of cooler weather out my way, so I decided it was time to pull out a few things from my fall wardrobe. I was pretty horrified to realize that none (none!) of those clothes fit me anymore - as in they are all too tight. They fit fine when I put them away in March, but here we are 6 months later and I look like a sausage wearing them.

So a bit of background - I have been into CrossFit on and off for about two years and since I found an awesome local affiliate this April, I've been doing the WOD's faithfully 3x a week, and have just gone to 5 days on, 2 off in the last two weeks. I've been making great gains - my times and strength are all improving, and I even have a couple of dead-hang pull-ups, which I had been working towards for a long time. I've been really happy with my performance and want to keep improving, and didn't really have any complaints about my body composition. I was hoping to gain muscle and lean out gradually, that is until I realized that I had gained enough weight for my clothes not to fit!

I'm 31, 5'6 and about 145lbs. I eat really clean, don't touch gluten and dairy due to intolerances and pretty much only eat fresh, unprocessed foods. I was vegan for the first few months of the year, which I soon reconsidered after becoming a regular Crossfitter and I now eat meat, fish or eggs with lunch and dinner and with about half of my breakfasts. The only grain I eat is quinoa, and I'm not too keen on giving it up. I also eat very little sugar - what I do get comes from fruit and an occasional spoonful of honey in my coffee as a treat. I've cracked open my Zone info again and have been trying it out for the past few days. For my size, 11 blocks are recommended. After preparing a few zone meals, I see that I've perhaps been eating too much fat since what Zone is recommending is about 1/4 of what I've been eating. My question is about the carbs: the stuff I eat is pretty much all from the favorable carb section, and when I prepare a meal that sticks to the 3 block recommendation, it works out to a huge amount of veggies! I feel full after, but I burn it off fast and am ready for another meal 3-4 hours later, which is all cool with me. But it just feels like so much food!

I've just been used to cutting back on food to lose weight in the past, and these huge plates of veggie & chicken stir-fries and monster omelets make me a little nervous!

And since I'd like to avoid having to buy a whole new wardrobe, I'd like to shed this extra weight fast. Should I consider adding in a 5k run or row a few times a week to burn a little extra? I promise to stick to my 2 rest days on the weekend! And no, I don't think the tight pants and jackets are due muscle gain (although I know I have more muscle now than in March), and if they were, I would proudly donate them and go find some new duds! Most importantly though, I don't want any of my attempts to drop the fat to have a negative impact on my performance - I fought hard for those improvements and won't give them up.

Any advice or ideas?
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:51 PM   #2
Ian Nigh
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Re: My Fall clothes don't fit - in a bad way

adding more "cardio" will not necessarily lean you out.
I would recommend tracking your meals more carefully, reducing your carbohydrate intake (to around 50g a day, perhaps) and upping your intake of high quality fats (to enter into mild ketosis) and and add more STRENGTH work.

Look up Mark Sisson's article on "Chronic Cardio", and talk to your coach at your affiliate bout your body composition goals. They should be able to help you more than anyone on this forum.

edit: you may want to play around with Intermittent Fasting as well, BUT ONLY if you are sleeping more than 8 hours a night, your stress levels are very low AND your diet is very very clean.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: My Fall clothes don't fit - in a bad way

I'd bet that you're wrong about this:

Quote:
And no, I don't think the tight pants and jackets are due muscle gain
especially since you said this:

Quote:
(although I know I have more muscle now than in March)
If you're doing as well with your workouts and your diet as you say you are, and if your performance has improved as you say it has, then I doubt that you've gotten fat. Sounds to me as if you've packed on enough muscle to require new clothing. Nice job.

I think your real problem -- simply because I think it's an abomination to coffee -- is this:

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an occasional spoonful of honey in my coffee as a treat
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:41 PM   #4
Chris Mason
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Re: My Fall clothes don't fit - in a bad way

How much more do you weight now than when you put the clothes away?
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:10 PM   #5
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: My Fall clothes don't fit - in a bad way

*Where* do your clothes not fit? Adding muscle can very easily make pant legs, sleeves, and the backs and shoulders of tops and jackets a bit snug, but dieting to make those hard-earned muscles go away is a very bad idea.

(As a side note, the board consensus seems to be that 11 blocks isn't enough for an active female. Eat more, or brace yourself for a performance crash in a week or so.)

Katherine
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:53 AM   #6
Sylvie Roy
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Re: My Fall clothes don't fit - in a bad way

Well this is interesting - I remember weighing in at about 143lbs at some point early this year when the clothes were still ok, so maybe there is more muscle to this than I originally thought because I doubt 2 lbs of fat would be very noticeable. What got me worried was where the pants where tight though - it's not just on the thighs (wouldn't be surprised to have more muscle there), but on the hips, butt and waist too, which seem like typical places to put on fat. I tried on the jacket again, and it's snug on the arms, shoulders and ribcage, so I'll give that to muscle. I've always heard that when you put on muscle, your clothes fit better, but I suppose that's only if you've been trading it in for fat.

I'll talk to the guys at the box today to see what they think - they weren't on hand at the moment of my freak-out, so thanks to all of you for helping out! If I know that I have to buy new clothes because I've been improving, that won't bother me one bit!
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:56 AM   #7
Meghan Reid
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Re: My Fall clothes don't fit - in a bad way

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylvie Roy View Post
Well this is interesting - I remember weighing in at about 143lbs at some point early this year when the clothes were still ok, so maybe there is more muscle to this than I originally thought because I doubt 2 lbs of fat would be very noticeable. What got me worried was where the pants where tight though - it's not just on the thighs (wouldn't be surprised to have more muscle there), but on the hips, butt and waist too, which seem like typical places to put on fat. I tried on the jacket again, and it's snug on the arms, shoulders and ribcage, so I'll give that to muscle. I've always heard that when you put on muscle, your clothes fit better, but I suppose that's only if you've been trading it in for fat.

I'll talk to the guys at the box today to see what they think - they weren't on hand at the moment of my freak-out, so thanks to all of you for helping out! If I know that I have to buy new clothes because I've been improving, that won't bother me one bit!

If you've been squatting and deadlifting, your butt and legs are going to gain muscle. If you were already pretty lean, that would probably equate to some more inches. General consensus around here is that's a great thing...

But if you're truly concerned and that's not one of your goals, do try to log your food for a little while, you might be surprised at how doing CF regularly can make you hungrier, and you end up eating more than you need to without realizing it.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:30 AM   #8
Ryan Earle
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Re: My Fall clothes don't fit - in a bad way

It is a shame you don't have before and after pictures?

I think the best thing people who are concerned about Body Comp can do is to take daily or weekly photos of your self in just boxers/underwear. That way you can see the changes.

Focusing on the scale is the wrong thing to worry about when it comes to body comp.

Adding muscle to a skinny girl will add mass everywhere -- I am a male, but since starting Crossfit I have had to buy new shorts, boxers, etc... because my legs have gotten that much thicker and I have lost 10 pounds (175 to 165 at 5'10).
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:20 AM   #9
Sylvie Roy
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Re: My Fall clothes don't fit - in a bad way

That's just the thing - I've never been too preoccupied with the scale (I don't even own one) and measurements. I've just been focusing on eating well and working hard in the gym because I want to be healthy, but it's also my idea of fun! I knew I would put on muscle, but didn't realize it could be to the point of needing larger pants. So I was taken by surprise when I couldn't fit into the more fitted fall clothes after spending the summer in airy dresses and stretchy leggings.

Thanks for suggesting the before & after pics - it would have been good to have been taking some from the get go, but I'll start now so that I can keep track of future progress.

Congrats on your success! This whole buying bigger pants thing is starting to feel a whole lot better!
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:41 AM   #10
Marnee Dearman
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Re: My Fall clothes don't fit - in a bad way

Ramping up physical activity, especially to that intensity level, stimulates Vasopressin production, which is involved in water retention. This is a common phenomenon amongst runner, for example, who come back after an injury. I wouldn't be surprised if you are just a little bloated is all. This effect is only temporary.
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